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Electrolytes, ionisation and conductivity

Conductivity in aqueous solutions, is a measure of the ability of water to conduct an electric current. The more ions there are in the solution, the higher its conductivity.

Conductivity
Conductivity is a measure of a solution's ability to conduct an electric current.

Electrolytes

An electrolyte is a material that increases the conductivity of water when dissolved in it. Electrolytes can be further divided into strong electrolytes and weak electrolytes .

Electrolyte
An electrolyte is a substance that contains free ions and behaves as an electrically conductive medium. Because they generally consist of ions in solution, electrolytes are also known as ionic solutions.
  1. Strong electrolytes A strong electrolyte is a material that ionises completely when it is dissolved in water:
    AB (s, l, g) A + (aq) + B - (aq)
    This is a chemical change because the original compound has been split into its component ions and bonds have been broken. In a strong electrolyte, we say that the extent of ionisation is high. In other words, the original material dissociates completely so that there is a high concentration of ions in the solution. An example is a solution of potassium nitrate:
    KNO 3 (s) K + (aq) + NO 3 - (aq)
  2. Weak electrolytes A weak electrolyte is a material that goes into solution and will be surrounded by water molecules when it is added to water. However, not all of the molecules will dissociate into ions. The extent of ionisation of a weak electrolyte is low and therefore the concentration of ions in the solution is also low.
    A B ( s , l , g ) A B ( a q ) A + ( aq ) + B - ( aq )
    The following example shows that in the final solution of a weak electrolyte, some of the original compound plus some dissolved ions are present.
    C 2 H 3 O 2 H ( l ) C 2 H 3 O 2 H C 2 H 3 O 2 - ( aq ) + H + ( aq )

Non-electrolytes

A non-electrolyte is a material that does not increase the conductivity of water when dissolved in it. The substance goes into solution and becomes surrounded by water molecules, so that the molecules of the chemical become separated from each other. However, although the substance does dissolve, it is not changed in any way and no chemical bonds are broken. The change is a physical change . In the oxygen example below, the reaction is shown to be reversible because oxygen is only partially soluble in water and comes out of solution very easily.

C 2 H 5 OH ( l ) C 2 H 5 OH ( aq )
O 2 ( g ) O 2 ( aq )

Factors that affect the conductivity of water

The conductivity of water is therefore affected by the following factors:

  • The type of substance that dissolves in water. Whether a material is a strong electrolyte (e.g. potassium nitrate, KNO 3 ), a weak electrolyte (e.g. acetate, CH 3 COOH ) or a non-electrolyte (e.g. sugar, alcohol, oil) will affect the conductivity of water because the concentration of ions in solution will be different in each case.
  • The concentration of ions in solution. The higher the concentration of ions in solution, the higher its conductivity will be.
  • Temperature. The warmer the solution, the higher the solubility of the material being dissolved and therefore the higher the conductivity as well.

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
Lohitha
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
Richard is sitting on his chair and reading a newspaper three (3) meters away from the door
Jeo Reply
The fundamental frequency of a sonometer wire streached by a load of relative density 's'are n¹ and n² when the load is in air and completly immersed in water respectively then the lation n²/na is
Mukesh Reply
Properties of longitudinal waves
Sharoon Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Sep 30, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11305/1.7
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